Tuesday, February 3

Snow Days...The REAL Deal!

It seemed like a good time to float this post out there.

The one about snow days that I started two months ago.

Back in November, called "Snow-vember" in these parts, when we were bestowed the gift of a very large amount of snow in a very short period of time. The result was us using up all of our given snow days before we even gobbled down our Thanksgiving turkey.

We got four feet of snow at our house, while some families in the same school district received upwards of six feet!

This was a local photo from one neighborhood that circled Facebook, and the local news channels...

There has been a lot of snow falling on the East Coast and while we haven't had any more snow days (despite my girls sleeping with their pajamas on inside out and frozen spoons under their pillows on Sunday night!), many of my friends in Massachusetts and other parts of the country have.

As any momma knows it's not always as much about what is going outside that counts on a snow day, as what is going on inside the house. 

If we're honest a lot of us have a love-hate relationship with such days. 

I want to say I LOVE snow days. And I am usually excited...for the girls. But the reality of the situation doesn't always match my mommy idealism.

Thoughts of sugarplums, nicely played games, and warm cookies dance in my head.

While bickering children, scattered toys, spilled juice, and copious amount of wet snow gear dance around me in real life.

This is what I recall from our last week of consecutive snow days...

 ~Refereeing the older girls who are in a fight-bicker-fight-bicker-tease-instigate stage with each other. While refereeing the big girls I tried to keep Aubrey from finding one of the 172 markers left around the house, which she used to write on the couch (true story), our brand new window seat (true story...with black permanent marker!), the chest in the living room, and of course, herself.

~Trying to keep Aubrey away from the girls (she's taken to tapping Ella on the head with a baton when she's not paying attention to her and disassembles an in-progress puzzle in 1.7 seconds flat).

~Lots of food preparation and clean up.

~Lots of snow pant dressing and undressing and the wet gloves, hats, boots and coats that follow.

~A very tired momma at the end of the day hoping to hear the sound of a school bus come down the street the next morning (;

Ok, I do (secretly!) like to have the girls home with me even though they can drive me bonkers.

I'm sure I will look back, someday, and say,  Ok. That was fun. And sweet. Let's have a snow day again.  

But in the the middle of it?!

Oh the middle.

This is what part of my  house looked like in the middle.

In the middle of it all Facebook was so sweet to perpetually update me with the goings on at other friend's houses...

Events that seemed way calmer, and more cuddly than what was taking place at our house! True or not, doesn't Facebook have a way of doing that?!

I saw pictures of lovely cookie baking, snow fort building, peaceful game play, craftiness and all sorts of other lovely, memorable snow day moments.

Like this sweet photo that Laurie Henderson shared...

I was so ready to head over to her house and join their nice, calm, peaceful dinner party!

Our dinners felt like a party too...but a party of a different kind!

Like a frat party without the beer.

You know, people standing on their chairs, hollering over each other, not eating their food, falling onto the floor, distributing crumbs and spills all over the floor.

Since things felt so less calm at my own house I began to feel like either a) I was doing something very wrong, b) needed a perspective shift, or c) was missing part of the picture from my friend's houses and desperately wanted some affirmation that I was not alone.

I decided to float a question out there to my mom friends asking them to share the "real deal" about their snow days... the real, messy, kids driving each other crazy, wet snow ,clothes everywhere version.

Not because I'm a masochist, just because I'm a realist!

When life feels a little crazy I need a) my coffee, b) some extra prayer, and c) to know that I'm not in this alone!

Those three things are usually enough to keep me going (:

Imagine my surprise (and relief) when Laurie Henderson sent me these pictures in response to my "Real Deal" Facebook request... This is what was going on in the other rooms before and after that nice dinner photo.

She sent me this note as well...

‪Laurie Gworek Henderson Ok, Day 3 is REALLY getting to us!! I hear tons of yelling coming from upstairs!! "Get off me!" "Get out of my room!!" "I SAID STOP!!" I am now sending them outside , I just can't listen to it anymore lol!‬

 I am starting to feel like my house is in a "state of emergency."hahaha!!!  We have played, baked, done crafts, gone outside, watched movies, and cuddled.  All of this has led to the disaster that is our home, and today the brother/sister fighting has set in! And now that it is the end of the 3rd day both kids 6 & 8 are in their underwear, pretending they are babies, singing about their diapers!! Cabin fever is here!!

Our ham dinner brought a little sanity to the craziness, the kids set the table and worked together.  It was something to center us.  Plus it fed us 2 additional meals! So while the kitchen was constantly being used, this lightened the cooking load a little .

You would have been more than welcome to pop in!!!

...(Thanks for sharing Laurie!!! Next time I just might pop in (; 

Without further adieu, here are the rest of the tales, in no particular order shared by my mom friends about their snow day experiences...the "real deal"!

‪Yvonne CalabroSnow clothes!!! Consumes my day!! Getting them bundled & unbundled! Drying everything and then repeating it 2-3 more times!!! Feedings in between the snow play sums up my day!‬

‪Rebekah Cummings Weissert I don't have pictures but my boys argued so much that I lost my temper and sent them to their rooms while I cooled off. Now I am in my room and I don't plan on going downstairs any time soon ‬

‪Dorothy Greco‪ Snow days are great provided that you get enough sleep and are able to let go of any and all agendas! (sometimes this includes feeding them.) Wine helps. 

‪Jessica Moran Maliszewski I've been known to refuse to let my kids back inside if they try to come back in after only 10 min of playing in the snow....don't they know your supposed to play outside for hours like we did when we were kids?!?!‬

‪Katie Sivic‪ Going outside was just a comedy of errors in our house. Emma's boots kept falling off/being taken off. Her gloves were just a little too big, so she couldn't get her arms in her coat, and after what seemed like forever getting the kids ready, I almost had to say no to going outside because I couldn't get my own boots on because I couldn't reach my feet with my pregnant belly. luckily Jacob was able to help me through that and we made it out. the rest of the day mostly consisted of Emma driving Jacob nuts and him saying "no Emma" "get off of me Emma" or "stop Emma"‬

The best thing I did was make cookies. At least after the arguing about who is dumping what, when I let them lick the batter it at least gave me five minutes of silence!

Stephanie Koch, It's been pretty wild here too. Abby watches Cinderella at least twice a day in between art projects, making "food" (play dough) for her "friends" (stuffed animals & dolls) and dressing up like a princess. Ethan has taken to doing laps around our first floor while carrying random toys or vacuum attachments along with him. Both activities start out as individual tasks or means of entertainment but they normally end up with Ethan attacking Abby on one of his rounds, Abby taking the bait and yelling or pushing him over. So we're just managing chaos here most of the time

‪Amanda Schrock Chimera‪ My snow days have been an adventure w/ 2 very busy boys but I must say I have been blessed this time around. Joe, my hubby, being home has been amazing w/ keeping boys occupied outside. I am not one for the cold but my boys sure are so I am thankful for a hubby that's loves the snow. He has taken them snowmobiling in our 5, yes 5 feet, of snow and let them be boys outside while I get peace and warmth in the house. I am a SAHM and having Joe home is awesome‬!

My highlight funny moment today was: Eli came in and had to pee. So, instead of taking all his snow gear off I grabbed a Solo cup and had him pee in that. He thought it was hilarious and I said we are true Rednecks now Eli!! Gotta love it! 

‪Amelia Rhodes‪ We've had our fair share of bickering. Today I gave them a list of chores for which I would pay them for. They proceeded to grumble about the low pay. So we had a "come to Jesus" meeting about the importance of gratitude (perfect for November!) and working with cheerful hearts. Thankfully, they adjusted their attitudes and became cheerful workers. Hang in there. I remember the days when they were much smaller. All the bundling, un-bundling, and un-doing of all my work. I never believed older moms when they said it gets easier. But they are right. Oh, we still have plenty of attitude and bickering. It's just a different level of exhaustion.‬

‪Martie Sharp Bradley Endless bickering and teasing. Epic fail on a home maintenance project = two broken nails and countless dropped screws. Ventured out for groceries and witnessed a careening school bus that ended its skid by clipping a pickup truck. Not our best day.‬

‪Danielle Macaulay‪ You know what - it has actually been mostly peaceful, but I just admitted on FB we have barely changed our clothes since Monday, so you can have that. Lol! #greasy

...And last, but certainly never least, several hilarious anecdotes from the Adema family...

 (P.S. This family rocks and cracks me up, read on and you'll see why!! Anytime I feel like things have gotten zoo-ey at my house, I can almost guarantee that there is some sort of similar shenanigans going on over at theirs, though with 4 kids to my 3 they might have slightly more of an excuse...just slightly (; 

Jennifer Adema  Our snow days:  the first one was fun, sweet, idyllic.  Josie has asked for 2 years to make a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin.  So we dug one out from our front step, steamed it, pureed it and got to pie making.  It was stressful, but like you I stayed calm and made sure the girls each had equal assignments but still whining and fighting went on.  

We baked the pie, smelled delicious. I sent the girls over to the neighbors house to deliver a piece of pie and to get them out of the house while the younger kids were sleeping.  You saw how that went... Josie and I went to taste the pie and gagged.  I realized immediately that in the ridiculousness of pie baking with a 7, 5, 3 and 1 year old I forgot to add the sugar! 

I immediately called the neighbor and explained my guffaw.  We drowned the pie in maple syrup and ate it anyway. 

Daddy came home from work (yes he barreled down our unplowed street and went to work all day) and turned on the news.  The snow storm had been fun up to this point until the anchors mentioned deaths and trapped people etc etc.  Cue Amelia's anxiety.  Had to deal with calming her sensitive heart the rest of the night.  

Today - I decided to make molasses cookies.  Emmett decided to claw at me, scream, shriek yell pull all while again I'm trying to manage 3 girls making molasses cookies.  I begged someone to get off the counter and play with Emmett.  Amelia finally did, only to have me throw my hands up and yell forget it!  I need a cookie break!  I can't do this anymore!  

I pretended like the dough needed to be refrigerated which indeed, it did not.  But I needed everyone out of my kitchen and off my counter.  

Playing outside lasts 16 minutes when you're 3 and in rain boots since I don't have any snow boots for Vera.  Five minutes when you're 5 and Josie because you can't stand the seem on your sock in your boot and you're getting hair in your mouth.  An hour or more when you're 7 because you're name means "industrious" and you're going to live by that name and build and play till you can't feel your fingers anymore.  

Turns out the swing set is tons of fun on a snow day cuz you can jump off the top of it with no real risk of getting hurt.  We played uno, some weird game called pounce which is a plastic cat that catches mice on a string - hilarious, highly recommend it.  And we only watched 30 minutes of Netflix over 2 days!  Tomorrow, however....  I wish there were a miniseries for kids!!!!!!!!!!!

Outdoor fun...while it lasted!

A photo that reminds me that winter truly is beautiful. 

A successful snow day "craft" that did come out of our house! 

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